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Global Unions launch Zero Cancer campaign

published 23 March 2007 updated 23 March 2007

The Global Unions launched the Zero Cancer campaign in Geneva, Switzerland on 23 March with a occupational cancer prevention guide for workers.

Occupational cancer causes over 600,000 deaths a year – one death every 52 seconds, making up almost one-third of all work-related deaths. The guide was produced as part of the first ever international zero occupational cancer campaign, involving 11 global trade union organisations together representing over 300 million members in more than 150 countries.

Speaking at the launch, International Metal Federation (IMF)'s General Secretary Marcello Malentacchi said: "Asbestos alone accounts for an estimated 100,000 deaths each year and yet there is no worldwide ban on its use. Despite occupational cancer being the single largest cause of work-related deaths, the risks have been downplayed by governments, health and safety enforcement agencies and employers. The end result has been a wholly preventable epidemic of cancers."

"Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: a union guide to prevention" provides information about workplace cancer risks and advice on practical steps workers and unions can take to make workplaces safer and is being distributed with action guidelines to unions worldwide.

For more information, please visit: www.imfmetal.org/cancer